Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. history, profile and corporate video
Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. engages in providing banking and financial services. It operates through the following segments: Household, Small Businesses, Corporate Banking, Commercial Banking, Private Banking, Financial Management and Capital Markets, and Others. Its product includes loans, mortgages, retail and commercial banking, and international money transfer. The company was founded on February 27, 1902, and is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.“
“The History of Bank Leumi
In 1897, an article was published in the official mouthpiece of political Zionism “Die Welt”. The writer was Dr. Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, who prophesied the birth of the State of Israel. The article, titled “Jüdische Colonialbank” (translated later into “The Jewish Colonial Trust”), argued that the Zionist Movement was badly in need of financial institutions to support the Jewish settlers in Palestine.
The Jewish Colonial Trust
Herzl’s financial vision began to materialize in London, the contemporary global financial center. Initially, due to ideological differences, leading Jewish bankers refused to cooperate with Herzl’s plan to establish a financial institution. Herzl turned to his most ardent followers- the common Jewish people who believed whole-heartedly in the Zionist idea. He put great efforts into collecting 250,000 Pounds, a minimal sum which allowed the “Jewish Colonial Trust” to launch its activities in London. In order to allow even the poorest of Jews to take part in the project, a maximum of 80 payments was allowed for each share.
The Dream is Realized: the “Anglo-Palestine Company”
Herzl continued to work towards the foundation of a bank in Palestine. On 27th February 1902, a subsidiary of the Jewish Colonial Trust called the “Anglo-Palestine Company” (APC) was established in London with the assistance of Zalman David Levontin, one of the first members of Hovevei Zion who had founded Rishon Le-Zion in 1882. This Company was to become the future Bank Leumi. Unlike the Trust, the Anglo-Palestine Company started out with a rather modest capital of 50,000 Pounds. The first chairman of the Bank’s Board of Directors was David Wolffsohn, Herzl’s successor as the leader of the Zionist Movement. Its first General Manager was Zalman David Levontin.”
*Information from Forbes.com and english.leumi.co.il
**Video published on YouTube by “Michael Greenspan“